September 21, 2005


LEWISBURG, Pa. -The Lewisburg Downtown Partnership will be recognized Sept. 26 with an award for Excellence in Organizational Development at the 25th Anniversary Gala of Main Street, hosted by the Pennsylvania Downtown Center.

Throughout the gala, downtowns that have excelled in one of nine different categories throughout Main Street's 25-year history in Pennsylvania will be honored with a prestigious anniversary award.

The 25th anniversary gala is a black-tie optional, ticketed event that will be held at the Hilton on Second Street in Harrisburg. The event will be a celebration of Pennsylvania's downtown communities and Pennsylvania Downtown Center will proudly present an awards ceremony to honor Main Street communities for projects and programs they have completed over the past 25 years.

Mary Means, one of the original founders of the Main Street program, will give the anniversary address. The gala will also include a showcase of Pennsylvania's downtown communities and the awards program.

Main Street is a national downtown development program that focuses on building a strong organization of stakeholders, identifying and promoting downtown's , preserving local, historic architecture and strengthening the economy through market analysis and business support. The Main Street program has helped downtowns in all 50 states and overseas to create more vibrant downtowns. The borough of Lewisburg and the Lewisburg Downtown Partnership brought the Main Street program to Lewisburg in 2000.

The board of directors of the partnership will receive recognition for its outstanding successes in volunteer development, fundraising, and communicating its mission to the community. The board began with a task force of the borough of Lewisburg, Bucknell University, and downtown businesses in 1999 and evolved into a 501(c)3, not-for-profit corporation in 2000.

The partnership's scope of work has been shaped by community input in town meetings held in 1999 and again in 2003. In 2004, it completed a successful fundraising campaign to continue the Main Street program in Lewisburg. Last year, 320 volunteers logged 2,018 hours, creating a more vibrant downtown Lewisburg.

Charles Pollock, vice president for student affairs at Bucknell and volunteer appointed to the board to represent Bucknell, has served as its president since 2000.

The mission of the Pennsylvania Downtown Center is to advance the sense of place, quality of life and economic vitality of Pennsylvania's downtowns, traditional neighborhood business districts and nearby residential areas.

Tickets are $40 for Pennsylvania Downtown Center members and $60 for non-members.  For more information about the 25th Anniversary Gala or to purchase tickets, call 717-233-4675 or visit padowntown.org.

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